Controversially, she ran a prison in Thailand where suspected al-Qaeda members were tortured by waterboarding in 2002.
The so-called black sites - secret overseas locations where the CIA carried out what it termed "enhanced interrogation" techniques - were closed by former US President Barack Obama.
However, President Donald Trump has since spoken out in favour of the harsh interrogation of suspects.
Ms Haspel's appointment last year as deputy director of the CIA caused controversy.
Christopher Anders, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington office, told the New York Times he was "gravely concerned" about the appointment.
At the time, then CIA director Mike Pompeo described her as "an exemplary intelligence officer" with an "uncanny ability to get things done and to inspire those around her".
She was picked for the top job when President Trump named Mr Pompeo as Secretary of State to replace Rex Tillerson.
In a statement, she said: "I am grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in me, to be nominated to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. If confirmed, I look forward to providing President Trump the outstanding intelligence support he has grown to expect during his first year in office."
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